States’ Active Partnership Role in Safe Transportation
States, whether point-of-origin, destination, or the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) transportation corridor, have additional responsibilities when transuranic and highway route controlled quantities of radioactive materials and waste transit their states. Many responsibilities are borne to meet state and federal laws; some responsibilities are specific to the WIPP transportation program. All of them are important in order to reinforce to the public that the transuranic waste shipments have been done and continue to be done safely and under the close scrutiny of the states that
- Maintain, enforce, and promote safety of the motoring public in order that commercial motor vehicles carrying hazardous materials as well as WIPP motor carriers may have safe passage.
- Secure regulatory compliance through roadside and on-site inspection of commercial motor vehicles hauling general freight, hazardous materials, and nuclear materials.
- Conduct en route inspections, including Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Level VI inspections, thus ensuring that the highest mechanical and radiation safety standards are maintained. This includes review of shipping papers (Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest [EPA Form 8700-22]) in order for the state inspector to verify the carrier and key information in the electronic log book, as well as the cargo details. Often, inspectors compare CVSA Level VI inspection forms from point of origin to the inspection forms that they are creating in order to verify radiation levels noted at point-of-origin versus en route readings done during inspections. These activities are done to ensure and maintain continuity of knowledge on hazardous and nuclear materials shipments.
- Collect state permit fees to pay for their specialized hazardous and nuclear materials programs.
- Serve as routing authorities for hazardous materials as well as radioactive and nuclear materials and waste.
- Perform motor carrier audits of commercial motor vehicles that list a particular state as their Department of Transportation–registered home.
- Monitor advance notification from the Department of Energy (DOE) in various forms:
- Semi-Annual Notification letter;
- Eight-Week Rolling Schedule updated weekly and more frequently as necessary in order to address changing needs such as highway closures, bad weather, road conditions, and large events;
- Two-Week Notice of Intent to Ship along a new transportation corridor; and
- Two-Hour Calls.
- Monitor the location of the WIPP motor carrier utilizing the TRANSCOM system and
- Provide support to WIPP motor carriers in any unforeseen situation;
- Report any unanticipated road conditions and closures or bad weather to the WIPP Central Monitoring Room to pass along to the drivers;
- Respond and provide a law enforcement or radiation protection escort to the motor carrier if it must be routed off of the established route or be taken to safe parking; and
- Respond to any incident or accident involving the WIPP motor carrier.
- Conduct needs assessments in order to design ongoing programmatic activities to meet the needs of emergency response personnel, public and elected officials, and the general public in the specialized areas of training, exercise, equipment, medical preparedness, security, routing, and public information.
- Respond to and mitigate hazmat incidents involving the potential or actual release of a hazardous or radioactive material; acquire immediate DOE telephonic technical guidance while awaiting arrival of federal response assets; formulate an action plan that anticipates continuously changing situations, and act to resolve the emergency. State and local response authorities participate in unified command along with federal response assets to provide technical assistance to the incident commander.